Monday, May 12, 2008

Is Fujitsu Siemens tired of NetApp?

An interesting note in today's Byte and Switch caught my attention.

Pacific Growth Equities analyst Kaushik Roy discussed a possible Fujitsu/Exanet deal in a report on NetApp last week: “We are concerned that NetApp’s second largest OEM customer Fujitsu Siemens may buy high-end NAS vendor Exanet, which would be incrementally negative for NetApp,” he wrote. “If they do not buy privately held Exanet, we believe Fujitsu Siemens might at least resell Exanet’s high-end NAS solution.”

If this rumor is true, and viewed in conjunction with IBM's recent acquisitions as detailed by Andy Monshaw in this article . It may be that NetApp is about to lose two very big reseller OEM customers. Mr Monshaw certainly seems to understand how to bring together the pieces of a storage solution.

"This idea that hardware is commoditizing and the value is moving to software and services, which is sort of a mantra, is complete nonsense. Elements of hardware commoditize, elements of software commoditize, elements of services commoditize, as they move to global resource pieces of service capabilities.

So I think evidence of investment in the IBM storage business speaks for itself: XIV, Softek, Novus, Arsenal, FileNet--all around this space in the last two years we have had a series of very specific investments. And I wouldn't call any of these niche, point-play investments. These are real, honest-to-God capabilities that we're bringing to this portfolio. "

Whether the storage business in commoditizing or not, there suddenly seems to be a lot of interest from big players in building a solution that fits squarely in NetApp's market niche.

I wonder why that is?

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